Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 92–112

The Internet as a virtual learning community

Article

Abstract

THE MODEL of an Internet-based virtual learning community, with students interacting dynamically with the content, the technology, and, most importantly, each other, offers a powerful and convivial approach to providing education at a distance. The classes described here, based on over a year of teaching classes entirely via the Internet, work very effectively as collaborative communities.

This paper describes one model for implementing university classes via the Internet using listservs, electronic mail, and the World Wide Web (WWW). It reports on student feedback concerning this approach to learning. A comparison is made between Internet-based classes and traditional classes taught face-to-face. In addition, the complementary possibilities of asynchronous virtual learning experiences—where students participate in class activities flexibly, at any time of their own choosing—and synchronous on-line activities—where all class members are on-line at the same time in a class-wide interactive forum of discussion, questions and answers, brainstorming, and other activities—are examined.

Keywords

virtual learning community Internet Schrage’s model of collaboration distance education 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Biocca, F. (1995, May 22).Presence.Presentation presented for a workshop on Cognitive Issues in Virtual Reality, VR ’95 Conference and Expo, San Jose, CA.Google Scholar
  2. Burke, G., &McLellan, H. (1996).The Algebra Project: Situated learning inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. InH. McLellan (Ed.).Situated Learning Perspectives.Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Educational Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  3. Corrigan, D. (1996).The Internet University: College courses by computer.Harwich, MA:Cape Software.Google Scholar
  4. Gan, D. (1997, May).America’s 100 most wired colleges.Yahoo Internet Life,3(5),50–59.Google Scholar
  5. Khan, B. H. (Ed.). (1997).Web-based instruction.Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Educational Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Knoke, W. (1996).Bold new world.New York:Kodansha International.Google Scholar
  7. Marks-Tarlow, T. (1995).Creativity inside out: Learning through multiple intelligences.Reading, MA:Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  8. McLellan, H. (1996a, November–December).Being digital: Implications for education.Educational Technology. 36(6),5–20.Google Scholar
  9. McLellan, H. (1996b). Internet-based education: Some guidelines.Tech Head Stories.http://tech-head.com/i-ed.htm. Google Scholar
  10. Moses, R. P., Kamii, M., Swap, S. M., &Howard, J. (1989).The algebra project: Organizing in the spirit of Ella.Harvard Educational Review,59(4),423–443.Google Scholar
  11. Negroponte, N. (1995).Being digital.New York:Knopf.Google Scholar
  12. Rheingold, H. (1993).The virtual community.Reading, MA:Addison Wesley Google Scholar
  13. Schrage, M. (1991).Shared minds: The new technologies of collaboration.New York, NY:Random House.Google Scholar
  14. Senge, P. M. (1990).The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization.New York:Currency Doubleday.Google Scholar
  15. Turkle, S. (1995).Life on the screen.New York:Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  16. Wilde, J., &Wilde, R. (1991).Visual literacy: A conceptual approach to graphic problem solving.New York:Watson Guptill Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emporia

Personalised recommendations